The World Council of Churches joined other global faith-based organizations in sending a letter to G20 leaders—a letter urging an economic system that looks after the wellbeing of all.
The G20 leaders will hold a summit in Bali, Indonesia on 15-16 November.
“For churches, the fullness of life and all that contributes to it are essential to our faith and practice,” the letter notes. “Our faith perspectives and valuing of justice and peace demand that the poor and the dispossessed lie at the centre of our economic thinking and that our economic systems also work to serve their needs.”
The letter discerns three interrelated, interconnected crises affecting the planet—a social crisis from rising inequalities, a climate catastrophe, and a broader economic crisis.
“In addition, today we are faced with an alarming food crisis, made worse by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, adding to a set of weather-related disasters,” the letter notes. “Drought and floods joined by rising international prices of food mean increasing malnutrition and starvation.”
The prevailing economic system has profited from the exploitation of people and the planet, the letter continues. “The model of growth that it is based on is harmful and unsustainable,” the text reads. “While we focus today on the immediate shortages of food, fuel and shelter, in the long run this planet and its people cannot maintain this present system of production and consumption.”
The letter calls on G20 leaders to adopt new economic and wellbeing indicators, as well as stronger rules to curb financial speculation on food, energy, and other vital commodities, among many other proposals.
“Ensuring healthcare provision, increasing access to education for all girls and women, and expanding support to struggling families and small farmers practicing natural land regeneration and agro-ecology are critical for protecting livelihoods and helping farmers cope with rising fuel prices and fertiliser shortages,” the letter also suggests. “We are all interdependent in God’s whole creation.”
The call for a New International Financial and Economic Architecture is a collaborative ecumenical effort that brings together the World Council of Churches, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Methodist Council and Council for World Mission, together representing more than half a billion Christians across the world.